According to his Mercedes team, the penalty that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton received for his collision with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull at the British Grand Prix was strict and not following the rules. James Allison, the team’s technical director, told the BBC.
Allison claims Hamilton adhered to Formula 1 overtaking rules in the incident: “He didn’t have to give space, so I found it hard to get the penalty. But, as far as we’re concerned, the manoeuvre Lewis made was regulatory. Lewis was substantially alongside. He had his front axle well past the centre of Verstappen’s car.”
However, Hamilton was convicted by the race stewards as guilty of the incident in the Copse corner. Verstappen collided hard with the tire stack and had to be taken to hospital after being hit with a force of 51G.
Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty that dropped him from second to fourth after his pit stop. However, the world champion came back, passed leader Charles Leclerc two laps from the end and reduced Verstappen’s lead in the championship standings to eight points.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner angrily said after the race that Hamilton “should never have made the action” and called Hamilton’s passing attempt “desperate”, “ill-considered”, and “amateurish”.